- Associated Press - Thursday, October 13, 2011

BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA (AP) - A mother’s love will be the closing theme for this year’s Busan International Film Festival.

The nine-day festival kicked off last Thursday with a South Korean romance. On Friday it will close with a Japanese movie about a mother who is forgiven by her son after she was forced to abandon him during wartime.

"The movie is about a mother’s love for her son even as she suffers from dementia," Japanese director Masato Harada told reporters Thursday as he spoke of his 2011 movie, "Chronicle of My Mother."

The film has drawn acclaim at several other international film festivals. Busan festival organizer Lee Yong-kwan praised Harada for his mastery in depicting a relationship that can be as complex as it is universal.

Motherhood is a theme increasingly attracting South Korean audiences and artists. In the 2009 thriller "Mother," South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho portrays a woman who hunts down a murderer that she believes framed her son. Shin Kyung-Sook’s novel, "Please Look After Mom," also became a best-seller in South Korea and went on to make a splash in the United States.

Describing South Koreans’ attachment to maternal love as "especially strong," Harada said he hopes his movie will help "confirm the great love of mothers."

"Chronicle of My Mother" features "Shall We Dance" star Koji Yakusho and award-winning actresses Kirin Kiki and Aoi Miyazaki. It is based on an autobiographical novel by Japanese writer Yasushi Inoue, but Harada said his own mother was another inspiration behind the movie.

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